Johnson meets JetBlue officials in New York   | THE DAILY HERALD

Minister of Tourism Stuart Johnson with JetBlue officials last week.

Philipsburg–A delegation from St. Maarten headed to New York for a series of meetings which included a meeting with JetBlue Airways. Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson and St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) Interim Director May-Ling Chun met with JetBlue officials at their headquarters late last week.

During the meeting, Johnson presented a specially-worded letter to signify the support JetBlue provided in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and its longstanding working relationship with St. Maarten. Johnson and Chun presented special gift bags to the JetBlue officials with St. Maarten branding and other gift items.

Johnson stated in his letter, “I would like to take this opportunity to formally extend my sincerest of appreciation to you, and the entire JetBlue Airways team for your unwavering support and commitment to the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin. This relationship started back in 2008 with the first flight from JFK [John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City – Ed.] and has grown to be what it is today; daily flights from JFK, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

“In 2017, our country faced one of the worst tropical natural disasters in its history, Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma severely affected all facets of life in St. Maarten, with an especial impact on our economy and tourism. In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, JetBlue Airways showed us how dedicated and committed they are to return the island back to normalcy. This support will never go forgotten and will always be appreciated.

“It was because of your swift assistance, coupled with the island’s commitment to providing the best support to its patrons, JetBlue Airways returned to the Princess Juliana Airport on November 1, 2017, operating flights twice a week, with a continued increase in frequency with routes being added to Fort Lauderdale. This is a true testament to the confidence and commitment JetBlue Airways has to our destination.

“On behalf of the government and people of St. Maarten, I wholeheartedly convey that we remain committed to our working relationship and look forward to growing this relationship in the years ahead.”

JetBlue officials made clear in the meeting to Minister Johnson and Chun, “So far no complaints are coming from JetBlue customers regarding the temporary facilities at the Princess Julianna International Airport.”

Other points for the meeting included consultation with network-planning officials, marketing executives and JetBlue vacations executives to inform them on the state of the industry and the airport.

Additionally, JetBlue officials said they are satisfied with the recently launched FLL flight from St. Maarten and the load factors are good for the New York City and Boston routes out of St. Maarten.

The TEATT Ministry and STB informed JetBlue that they will support JetBlue and JetBlue Vacations’ marketing campaign to cater to the various gateways.

“It is imperative to support JetBlue and all our partners in the tourism industry to continue growing our market share and develop sustainability for our tourism,” Chun concluded.

Source: The Daily Herald